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Organized retailing in India: upstream channel structure and management

Chitra Srivastava Dabas (Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Brenda Sternquist (Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Humaira Mahi (Department of International Business, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 17 February 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's aim is to identify structural and relational factors influencing the upstream channel management of organized retailers in India.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth interviews were conducted with 15 organized retailers and two manufacturers in India. Data were analyzed using the thematic network analysis technique from qualitative research. The authors use the framework of institutional theory to guide the discussion.

Findings

The findings suggest that government regulations influence the supply chain structure in India. Relational bonds offset the uncertainty borne of weak institutions. Informational transparency and long‐term orientation foster trust between channel partners. This trust, in turn, leads to collaborative partnerships.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have implications for multinationals planning to enter the Indian retail industry. There is a need to understand complex regulatory and social institutions in India. The uniqueness of these institutions calls for adaptive strategies toward channel management.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on the supply chain structure in India. Despite growing interest in the Indian retailing industry, not many studies reflect on the specific B2B exchange structure in India. The paper fills this gap and also provides several marketing implications for multinational retailers planning to enter the Indian market.

Keywords

Citation

Srivastava Dabas, C., Sternquist, B. and Mahi, H. (2012), "Organized retailing in India: upstream channel structure and management", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 176-195. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858621211207216

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited